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Captain Verne Gifford is the Director of Inspections and Compliance (CG-5PC), where he oversees policy, enforcement, and casualty investigation for Commercial and Recreational Vessels, Waterfront Facilities, Port Security, Vessel Documentation, and the U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.
Most recently, he was the Chief of Staff for the First Coast Guard District, where he assisted the District Commander to oversee all Coast Guard missions across eight Northeast states executed by 11,000 active duty, reserve, civilian and auxiliary personnel; 30 cutters; 200 boats; and 7 aircraft.
He served as the Commander, Sector Southeastern New England, and fulfilled the roles of the Captain of the Port (COTP) and the Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection (OCMI) for an area including Rhode Island, southeast Massachusetts, Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket.
Other tours include Chief of the Prevention Division, Eighth Coast Guard District, New Orleans; Commanding Officer, Marine Safety Unit Valdez, Alaska; Executive Officer, Marine Safety Unit Port Arthur, Texas; Chief of the Port Operations Department, Marine Safety Office New Orleans; and Deputy Project Manager for the Marine Information for Safety and Law Enforcement (MISLE) Project, a $60 million modernization of the Coast Guard's primary operational information system. He also served at Marine Safety Office Baltimore and on the Coast Guard Ice Breaker POLAR STAR.
Captain Gifford was raised in Buffalo, New York (he unfortunately remains a loyal Bills and Sabres fan - 50 years without a championship and counting). His education includes a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, with honors, from the Coast Guard Academy in 1987 and Master's in Business Administration and in Computer Science from the University of Rhode Island.
His personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Coast Guard Commendation Medal, the Department of Transportation 9-11 Medal, and the Coast Guard Achievement Medal.